WAYLAND, Mass. - High school football players in Wayland should have their heads in the game, but recently their attention has been focused on running to catch a bus.
CJ Brown, a Wayland High School senior and captain of the school's football team says nine students are being forced to leave practice early to catch their bus back to Boston. Brown says it's not fair to the players or the team.
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"It's adults putting kids in bad situations and that's not fair," said Brown, who's also vice president of the student council. "These kids make enough sacrifices as it is, and they should be given the opportunity to complete a full football practice."
The issue with the bus times comes after the Wayland School District decided to delay high school start times this year from 7:35 to 8:35 a.m.
The nine players being affected by the bus times are part of the state's METCO program, a voluntary program that allows students in Boston to attend school in other communities.
Wayland's football practice ends at 5:45 p.m., while the METCO bus was leaving at 5:50 p.m., which didn't give the players enough time to get off the field and out fo their pads. In order to make it home, students had to either leave practice early or find other means of transportation.
"I know that we run conditioning and we run a team offensive period at the end of the pracitce, so they're missing out on reps that are very important and valuable to getting better," said Brown. "That's an issue."
When the players couldn't make it to the bus on time, Brown said some of their teammates would have to drive them to the Riverside T stop in Newton.
"We felt five minutes would be enough," said Wayland Superintendent Dr. Arthur Unobskey. "Clearly it's not."
Dr. Unobskey said he has only recently become aware of the issue and says the school district is working to adjust the bus time so students don't have to leave early and don't have to rush to catch the bus.
"Ultimately we want it to work for them," said Dr. Unobskey. "So we'll do what we need to do."
Starting Thursday, Unobskey says the METCO bus will leave the high school at 6 p.m. instead of 5:50 p.m. He hopes the extra ten minutes is a good compromise and will work for the students.
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